This article is based on my creative practice as an electroacoustic1 composer who has developed a practice of audiovisual composition broadly sited within the field of visual music.
A brief contextual survey sites my work by first presenting a personal definition of visual music and of a set of conceptual approaches to work in this field. My practice is framed as an attempt to apply ideas and principles taken from musique concrète in an audiovisual domain. I discuss in particular the idea of reduced listening and propose a visual equivalent, visual suspension.
I discuss the problems around reduced listening when applied to concrète ‘real-world’ sounds, and propose that two audio archetypes, silence (or tending-to-silence) and noise (or tending-to-noise), exhibit unique physical and phenomenological properties which sidestep these issues. Observing a similar set of problems around visual suspension, I propose visual counterparts to silence and noise – by relating both to the idea of self-similarity, both temporal and spatial – which exhibit similar properties. In my own work I have found these audiovisual territories to be especially fertile, and to open up avenues for new kinds of sound–image relationships with great creative potential.